19 December, 2009

Bona Fide: Weekly Roundup #51

Hello and welcome to issue #51 of my Weekly Roundup. This is the last but one Roundup in 2009. As Alec posted we are coming back. Slowly but surely.... I still work on my Top Ten Reads 2009. Last week I wrote 2010 but that was a mistake. Reading does not go as well as I'm expected. But with only working day left until the end of the year I will definitely have more time to read. Now I look forward to next Monday.... Avatar is waiting for me.....
Next Roundup will be posted on December 26th. So I take the opportunity to wish you and your beloved ones A MERRY CHRISTMAS and a bagful of books.
And now enjoy reading....

Bona Fide's Menu

  1. Shelf discovery of the week: Tyrants and Kings series by John Marco
  1. The David Gemmell Legend Award
  2. Book and Map - Map and Book: Blake Charlton and his Spellwright
  1. Avatar
  2. Alice in Wonderland
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms


A few days ago author John Marco restarted to post on his blog The Bastion. I knew I have heard the name before. So I digged my way through my shelves and finally I found the trilogy Tyrants and Kings.
The Jackal of Nar (2000, 754 p., paperback) [US][UK], by John Marco is the first book of the series and the debut novel of the author.
"His enemies call Prince Richius "the jackal", but he is merely a reluctant warrior for the Emperor in the fight for the strife-ridden borderland of Lucel-Lor. And though the empire's warmachines are deadly, when the leader of a fanatical sect sweeps the battlefield with potent magic, Richichius's forces are routed. He returns home defeated - but the Emperor will not accept the loss. Soon Richius is given one last chance to pit the empire's science against the enemy's devastating magic, and this time he fights for more than a ruler's mad whim. This time Richius has his own obsessive quest - and where he will plunge headlong into the grasp of the deadliest enemy he has ever encountered...." [Source= back of the book]
For more information read the great review by James over at Speculative Horizons.
In case you don't like to switch over to Jame's review let me quote his conclusion:
"The Jackal of Nar is about war, peace, love, loss, courage and redemption. Marco's novel touches upon all of these themes and the reader cannot help but feel moved by the emotions of the characters and their actions. The novel opens with a burst of hedonistic action, then slows down for a while, only to explode again, giving the novel a certain pulse. Hundreds of men die, alliances are both formed and destroyed, and the very power of heaven is called upon. And in the middle of this is Richius Vantran, riddled with guilt, plagued by doubt, but ultimately unbroken."
The Grand Design (2001, 785 p., paperback) [US][UK] is the second book in the series.
"Prince Richius Vantran, the jackal of Nar, has fled into exile. Meanwhile, Nar has exploded in civil war. The conflict is being waged between the religious fanatics of Bishop Herrith, who follow the Light of God, and the ruthless followers of Count Biagio and his Black Renaissance. As the terryfying slaughter mounts, fueled by the development of hideous new war machines. Vantran is offered a chance to ally with a third faction and take his revenge against his ancient enemy Biagio.
But Biagio, a master of deception and intrigue, has a grand design to gain total power that involves luring Vantran's new allies into a deadly trap. As for Vantran, Biagio has a special punishment: to strike the warrior-prince's only weakness... Vantran's innocent daughter. And Vantran himself will unwittingly seal the young girl's fate." [Source= back of the book]
For more information and why this one is even a bit better than the first one please read the excellent review by James over at Speculative Horizons.
In case you don't like to switch over to Jame's review let me quote his conclusion:
"The Grand Design is a masterclass in plotting, character development and action sequences. Few novels can match the twists and turns of his plot, his well-developed characters and his fluid writing style. The Grand Designwill keep you guessing right until the end, and with the cunning and secrecy of Count Biagio, and the desperate heroics of Richius Vantran, there is never a dull moment."
The Saints of the Sword (2001, 708 p., paperback) [US][UK] is the third and final book of the trilogy.
"Biagio, Emperor of Nar, was once a madman and a tyrant. Now he wants peace. The irony is that no one believes him. Instead, the cruelest of his minions are amassing an army to ursurp his throne, bringing a new scourge to a battle-scarred world. Alazrian Leth, bastard son of sramoor's governor, is barely sixteen, but this young prince secretly possesses rare magical talents. Biagio sends Alazrian on a near-impossible mission: to convince outlawed priest Jahl Rob and his followers - the fearless Saints of the Sword - to search for the exiled ruler of Aramoor and the mysteriuous people called the Triin. If these ancient enemies can unite into one great army, a boy's strange and wonderful magic may be the spark to heal a wounded world... or set in motion an unimaginable betrayal." [Source= back of the book]
Unfortunately James did not review this book. But the review by Rob H. Bedford over at SFFWorld praise the book as much as James would do. Just let me quote Rob a bit:
"John Marco should be very proud of himself. The concluding volume of his Tyrants and Kings trilogy was a wonderful read and satisfying conclusion to one of the finest sequences in recent fantasy literature. The Saints of the Sword maintained the high quality of the previous two novels in the series."
I hope you understand now why I bought these books. And I think this trilogy is a worth Christmas present. I feel a bit guilty because I didn't read them so far.


I posted about The David Gemmell Legend Award in Roundup #45 and Roundup #50. Last week I talked about The Island (2009, 416 p.) [US][UK], by Tim Lebbon, which I will review for the DGLA. The nomination list is growing. To my pleasure I found books on the list which I read, liked and partial reviewed. Here are some examples:
Dust of Dreams (2009, 889 p.) [US][UK], by Steven Erikson
The Rats and the Ruling Sea (2009) [US][UK], by Robert V S Redick - read my review and read about Robert's World
Nights of Villjamur (2009, 889 p.) [US][UK], by Mark Charan Newton
Best Served Cold (2009, 889 p.) [US][UK], by Joe Abercrombie

You know Christmas is coming nearer and on Boxing Day the poll will open!
Looking for a present for yourself and interested in fantasy books? Then take the opportunity to meet interesting people, talk about fantasy books, share your opinions in a friendly fantasy atmosphere, support your favorite book and SIGN IN:

Visit The David Gemmell Legend Awards

Hope to meet you soon over at The David Gemmell Legend Award ...............

Book and Map - Map and Book: Blake Charlton and his Spellwright
I like books and I like maps. Therefore I appreciate when a book includes a map or maps related to books are available on the author's blog and/or website. And there are authors who write books and there are authors who write books and who create maps.
One of these book and map authors is Blake Charlton. His debut novel Spellwright (2010, 352 p.) [US][UK] will be released on 2nd March 2010. Blake aroused attention in the blogosphere. Let me just mention some posts:
Aidan's interview with Blake Charlton, Aidan's Spellwright review, Risingshadow.net review, Starred review from Library Journal and not to forget the author quotations by Terry Brooks, Robin Hobb, Tad William, Piers Anthony, Kate Elliott, Kevin J. Anderson, Daniel Abraham, Tobias Buckell and Sean Williams.
I will read and review the book in February 2010. And now I have to turn the corner. What was my topic? Aaah, yes, book and map. Blake himself created a detailed map of his Spellwright world. It seems he has some talent. But for the final result he got support from Tor art development. Anyway the result - even in black and white - is gorgegous. That is a kind of map I appreciate. You want to see the result? Then click SPELLWRIGHT's Beautiful World Map. You won't regret and I'm more eager to read SPELLWRIGHT which gets different covers in US (left) and UK (right).

And what is Spellwright about? Nosey? Then visit Blake Charlton's site and/or visit the mentioned links....


Unbelievable but true: I found some trailers and a three minute take from a movie which I will watch on upcoming Monday in cinema. I talk about

Avatar - A lot have been written about this movie. I'm glad to watch the 3D version on Monday. I will share my impression in next Roundup. So far enjoy the three minute take:

Alice in Wonderland
Is there anyone out there who never heard or read about Alice in Wonderland? I can't wait to see this movie directed by Tim Burton and with Johnny Depp as Mad The Hatter.....
"19-year-old Alice returns to the magical world from her childhood adventure, where she reunites with her old friends and learns of her true destiny: to end the Red Queen's reign of terror." [Source]

UPDATE (December 21st)
US release date: March 5th, 2010 and this is the link to the Official Alice in Wonderland movie site. And as the before mentioned Avatar it will be shown in 2D AND in 3D!


This week I continue with some German proverbs, sayings and idioms. I chose them randomly.

" Was Hänschen nicht lernt, lernt Hans nimmermehr
You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

" Wes Brot ich ess, des Lied ich sing.
He who pays the piper, calls the tune. (word by word translation: Whose bread I eat, his song I sing.)

" jemanden auf die Palme bringen
to drive someone up the wall OR to make someone's blood boil


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Saw Avatar last night - it will blow your mind! A stunning achievement in film making.

ediFanoB said...


I can't wait to see it. Only two days left...

Jam Lebrilla said...

Whew...I didn't even know there was an Alice in Wonderland movie coming up.

Can't wait for Avatar though, I just wish they didn't call it such a misleading name. Whenever I hear or see the word "Avatar", I keep remembering "Avatar, The Last Airbender".

ediFanoB said...


so it was worth for you thave a look at the Roundup.

May daughter told me the same about the naming of the movie. Therefore I know when one talk about Avatar" it is often misleading.

Unknown said...

First time I've seen Alice in Wonderland and it looks awesome! I can't wait to see it :)

ediFanoB said...

Book Chick City,

there is a reason why people like you and me read blogs and write posts. We will never find all these interesting things alone.

I added some new information to the post.

Dave said...

Those German sayings are tricky ones. I think there's some dialect in there, or I may need even more grammar lessons ;-)

ediFanoB said...


Wes Brot ich ess, des Lied ich sing

is a bit shortened. In proper German it would be:
Wessen Brot ich esse, dessen Lied ich singe

Hope that helps.